March 11-13 UNO Hockey vs. Bemidji State Qwest Center Omaha 7:37 p.m. Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Sunday’s game only if-necessary) Tickets starting at $17, 554.6287, omahasteam.com In what’s been a banner first season for UNO hockey in the WCHA, the stakes now get higher with the conference playoffs getting underway. As the regular season’s fourth place finisher, the 21-13-2 and Top 15-ranked Mavericks face 10th place Bemidji State (12-17-5). On the surface it appears a mismatch — until you note UNO went 0-3-1 against Bemidji during the season, part of a pattern that’s seen the Mavs play up or down according to their competition. In this weekend’s best-of-three series it’s imperative UNO skates with a sense of urgency. Perhaps Dean Blais should hypnotize his team to believe they’re facing elite North Dakota or Wisconsin and not little old Bemidji. It would help if fans turn out like they do for those marquee opponents — a raucous atmosphere might just get the muscle memory twitching the right way.


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